1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air 2-Door Hardtop
s/n VC57A192881, Engine no. F404EB
Red with Red and Black Interior
The 1957 Chevrolet was introduced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors in September, 1956. It was available in three series models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range "two-ten", and the "one-fifty". A two-door station wagon, the Nomad was produced as a Bel Air model. The car's image has been frequently used in toys, graphics, music, movies and television. The '57 Chevy, as it is often known, is now an American automotive icon.
Initially, General Motors executives wanted an entirely new car for 1957, but production delays necessitated the 1955–56 design for one more year. Ed Cole, chief engineer for Chevrolet, dictated a series of changes that significantly increased the cost of the car. These changes included a new dashboard, sealed cowl, and the relocation of air ducts to the headlight pods, which resulted in the distinctive chrome headlight that helped make the '57 Chevy a classic. Fourteen-inch wheels replaced the fifteen-inch wheels from previous years to give the car a lower stance, and a wide grille was used to give the car a wider look from the front. The now famous '57 Chevy tailfins were designed to duplicate the wide look in the rear. Bel Air models were given gold trim: the grille, front fender chevrons, hood, and trunk script were all rendered in anodized gold. The V-shaped trim on the tail fins was filled with a ribbed aluminum insert exclusive to the Bel Air.
The 1955 model year Chevrolet introduced its now-famous small-block V-8 — the first V-8 available in a Chevrolet since 1918. The lightweight car, coupled with a powerful overhead valve V-8, became a showroom draw, but also thrust the company into the arena of competitive motorsports. 1955 Chevrolets went on to dominate drag racing and became a formidable force in circle track racing. In 1956, the design was lengthened somewhat in front and given a more squarish treatment; under the hood, engine power increased and a Chevrolet Corvette engine was available for the first time in a full-size passenger car. In NASCAR racing the 283 with its increased horsepower gave the '57 a dramatic advantage over the smaller 265 v8 the '55 and '56 had. NASCAR imposed the '57 Chevys with considerable restrictions because the '57 year models were winning all of the races.
In 1957, Chevy started to add safety features such as "crash proof door locks”, padded dash boards, safety-styled steering wheel with a recessed hub, seat belts, and shoulder harnesses.
According to the previous owner, this wonderfully restored Bel Air hardtop is equipped with the optional 283 c.i. 270hp engine, which is mated to the 3-speed manual column shift transmission. It is with this engine option that the Bel-Airs became drag strip icons.
The restoration work, which was a body-off endeavor, and clearly comprised nearly every aspect of the car, was performed in North Carolina, and the car was later sold to a prominent muscle car collector in Seattle, Washington, according to the previous owner. While we do not have records for exactly what work was performed, it is evident that the paint, brightwork, engine bay, underside, interior, and trunk were all included in the process, and make a brilliant presentation today. Indeed, the engine bay and the underside are in show, “to eat off of” condition.
It is very likely that the mechanicals were also rebuilt in total, as the car has the road feel of a fully restored example, with tight controls, outstanding power, and correctly tuned and operating drivetrain, but we cannot confirm this with records. We do, however, welcome buyers to perform a stringent pre-purchase inspection to confirm the above. The discerning collector, looking for a strong running, restored Bel-Air Hardtop, with not be disappointed.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.